I met with Directors at Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) to discuss the future of the airport, how the business is doing and what the future holds for DTVA.
DTVA is clearly crucial to the economic vitality of the Tees Valley. There is a clear, long term plan for investment in the airport.
Significant funds have already been spent on the terminal and further spending on radar and security upgrades are planned. The KLM flights from DTVA are hugely important, essential to business users and a vital link to many destinations further afield. The Airport also has exciting plans to develop DTVA as an aviation-led business hub, making it the regional centre for Aerospace technology. This is clearly positive news and I welcome the investment and development strategy that is in place.
The fact that Peel are investing in our Airport and looking to deliver jobs and growth to Tees Valley is critical and it clearly shows that there is real cause for optimism about the future of the Airport.
Greater connectivity across the Tees Valley is essential and the Airport can be a key hub to drive that agenda. There is a railway line and station at DTVA which is something many Airports do not have, so I am keen to explore with Peel and Tees Valley Combined Authority as part of a long term vision how the airport and surrounding conurbations can be best served by rail to maximise the benefits of the rail line to provide greater connectivity and deliver a far more integrated transport system.
I also stressed that the distraction of fringe interests, such as the Tees Valley Mayor’s proposal to buy the Airport, could have a hugely detrimental impact on our local area.
There are genuine infrastructure and transport needs in the Tees Valley and it is hugely important not to indulge in fantasy politics that would undermine confidence in the airport. The Tees Valley Mayor’s comments in this regard are not helpful.
Let’s get back to reality and work with the owners of the Airport to help it sustain and grow.